Key man not fit
Harry Maguire has failed to recover from injury to take his place in the centre of Manchester United’s defence for their Europa League final tie this evening. The Red Devils will take on Villareal without their club captain, with Eric Bailly chosen to fill in at left centre-back again.
Leader on and off the pitch
Maguire’s importance to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been underlined in the Englishman’s absence, with United slipping to a 4-2 defeat against Liverpool at Old Trafford, before drawing with already relegated Fulham and scraping past a wretchedly out of form Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day of the season.
Devoid of his leadership, additional responsibilities will fall on the shoulders of his usual partner Victor Lindelof, who will have to step up as a leader in the Red Devil’s defence.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 26, 2021
Further forward, Solskjaer has opted for Paul Pogba in central midfield alongside Scott McTominay, meaning that Fred is only granted a place on the substitutes bench.
However, Pogba’s move infield from the left flank has allowed United to field a strong front four, with Mason Greenwood given a start alongside Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani.
Greenwood will feel the need to impress this evening, having been selected for Gareth Southgate’s 33-man squad on Tuesday. With 7 players to be cut from the squad however, it is unlikely that Greenwood will get significant time to impress the National coach before the decision is made, meaning that a strong performance against the Yellow Submarine could do his chances of making the full squad no end of good.
Four finals, three trophies
Nobody does the Europa League like Unai Emery pic.twitter.com/AzorSu5Vs1
— Goal (@goal) May 26, 2021